Immediately south of Edinburgh, Midlothian is a beautifully rural area bounded by the rolling, green Pentland Hills and featuring many woodlands, while remaining proud of its industrial heritage.
Getting there by train or bus
Thanks to the Borders Railway, it’s easy to reach Midlothian. The railway line travels through beautiful countryside, ultimately connecting Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders, but with stops at the Midlothian towns of Eskbank (for Dalkeith Country Park) and Newtongrange (for the mining museum).
There are bus routes to Midlothian centres like Dalkeith, Roslin, Gorebridge, Bonnyrigg, Lasswade Penicuik and Pathhead as well as to Hillend and the Pentlands. Traveline Scotland makes light work of planning your journey.
Like the great outdoors?
You’re spoiled for choice in Midlothian. It could be hill walking, wild swimming, cycling or a spot of fishing in the Pentland Hill Regional Park. Combine it with the Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend – Britain’s longest and most challenging artificial ski slopes for a great place for the whole family to have some fun.
Spend a few exhilarating hours whizzing down the dry ski slope or have a go on the tubing chutes. And there’s a great pub for lunch or tea just nearby – The Steading, complete with beer garden, or The Secret Garden Café and Bistro, who serve fabulous cakes.
For cyclists, Pentland Cycle Hire based at Flotterstone Inn car park has all the kit for families, serious cyclists and e-bikers.
Want to combine the outdoors with speciality shopping? Restoration Yard near Dalkeith is the go-to. Located in beautifully renovated 18th century stables within Dalkeith Country Park, it is a gorgeous store, restaurant, coffee bar and wellness space. The Country Park also features Fort Douglas Adventure Park and GoApe for tree top adventures, adrenaline rushes and spectacular views as you whizz down the zip lines.
Mining made Midlothian!
You’ll find former mining communities dotted throughout Midlothian. One of these is Newtongrange, whose Lady Victoria Colliery is now the award-winning National Mining Museum Scotland, complete with a 1,625-foot shaft and a winding tower powered by Scotland’s largest steam engine. A great place for kids, the visitor centre brings the mine and the local community to life with ‘magic helmets’ a virtual-reality tour of life below ground.
For a change of scene, hop on the bus to Dalkeith (around 40 minutes) and explore the Dalkeith Country Park Geotourist Trail or visit Dalkeith Museum in the historic Corn Exchange. And when you’re in need of refreshments, Lavender Coffee & Crumbs on the High Street is a great choice.
Discover Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 and the beauty of its setting and the mysterious symbolism of its ornate stonework have inspired and intrigued writers and artists ever since. It featured prominently in the blockbuster book and subsequent 2006 film, The Da Vinci Code. Open daily, you can also enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Chapel during one of the special evening visits.
Before or after, take a wander through the beautiful Roslin Glen and enjoy the sounds of birds in the trees and the babbling river as you meander along the glen’s quiet woodland path – the largest surviving stretch of ancient woodland in Midlothian.
Round off the evening with dinner at nearby gastropub the Original Rosslyn Inn – a family run business established in 1837.
Plan your trip to Midlothian
For more information on planning a trip to the area go to the Visit Midlothian website, follow and tag them on Facebook @MidlothianTF, Twitter @MidlothianTF and Instagram @midlothiantourismforum. #Midlothian #ThingsToDoInMidlothian
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